The Shelf of Shame
Most board game “collectors” have a shelf of shame - a stack of games that they’ve purchased but just haven’t got around to playing yet. Some might even have the shrink wrap on them still! In an effort to shame myself into playing them, I’m going to divulge my shelf of shame for all to see, along with why it might not have hit the table just yet.
Anachrony is a worker placement game with a time travel theme - you can borrow resources from yourself in the future, which in later rounds you’re then required to pay back (or face penalties). I have actually played this game solo since the kickstarter package arrived but not with others - the reason is that one of my game groups was actually playtesters for this game. Which is super cool and feels good to have a retail copy. The problem is two other people in my play group also went in on the kickstarter, so there’s three copies between the three of us, which makes it a bit hard to schedule when my group (or at least myself) leans towards learning newer games.
Assault on Doomrock is a co-operative “monster fighter” game in which two to four heroes with their own unique abilities and powers take on 3 separate hoards of monsters in an attempt to overthrow the head bad guy on Doomrock Mountain. Another game that I have played solo (and BGG actually lists it as “best with 1 player”) that I’d love to try with a group. It’s has a really cool abstract combat mechanic that I’d love to explore with other players; there’s no board used in the game - hex, grid, or otherwise. It does take awhile to play, but there’s a short game option too. It’s also ridiculously hard. Someday…
A deckbuilder with a baseball theme! Baseball Highlights: 2045 has players managing their batting and fielding line-up through a card drafting and playing mechanic that requires you to counter other players while attempting to score runs of your own. Normally the theme wouldn’t really do it for me, but this game has mechanically enhanced pitchers and robotic base runners, so it’s awesome. Had fun playing it solo and learning the rules, would love to have a 4 player tournament of it. The game itself only takes 45 minutes to play with two players, but once you have a round-robin like tournament it breaks into the two hour range.
An expansion for the excellent Shogun game which I picked up locally for something like $15. Shogun is one of the only area control games that I actually enjoy playing with a really unique blend of bidding, bluffing, turn order, and battle mechanics. The base game is pretty much perfect as is, so I hesitate to see if this adds or removes from the experience of the game. The main reason I haven’t played it is because I’m generally teaching the game to at least one new player, and when doing that I try to stay away from expansions - especially in larger games like this.
Star Trek: Fleet Captains has you Admiral-ing either the Federation or Klingon fleets through a head to head battle of several ships (I think 20 per side!). Haven’t done much more than ogle the various Federation and Klingon ship minis on their super cool heroclix bases. This seems like it’ll be a great game, the problem is having exactly two or four players for it. Although to be honest I haven’t really tried yet either, need to learn how to play.
This is my most recent acquisition, an asymmetric cave exploration game where each of the up-to-5 players has their own unique game mechanics and objectives that play off one another. The Knight has to slay the Dragon, the Dragon wants to escape the Cave, the Goblins wanna kill the Knight, the Thief wants to steal stuff, and the Cave wants to trap everyone inside. The downside is each player has their own unique set of rules that need to be taught independently (or so I’ve heard). The good news is there’s a solo mode for each player I believe, so that’ll let me learn how best to convey the game to other players once I’m ready… 5 solo plays later.
Have played this a few times solo, and it’s best described as “Eclipse in 60 minutes, also with ants”. You control a colony of ants exploring, controlling, and ultimately fighting over The Great Meadow with other players and NPC caterpillars. Just like Eclipse, there’s strong exploration, upgrade, combat, and settling aspects to the game. Lots of cool things going on in this game, just need to make some time for it at the regular lunch hour group.
Got this in a math trade, and it was on my “should I?” list for awhile. The idea of this game is that you’re in a race with fellow engineers, but you’re assembling your vehicle mid-race to attempt to have the most bad ass and quickest vehicle to cross the finish line. Cool concept, cool steampunk theme, and it comes with a boatload of fancy dice. Another one for the lunch hour that just needs to be queued up.
I had originally played The Captain is Dead at one of the public game nights in the city. The premise is that the captain of your spaceship has been killed in some way, and it’s up to the various members of the crew to maintain the ship and steer it to safety. Think of it as a turn-based Space Alert. I picked this up from a fellow boardgamer unopened, which was nice, unfortunately, I thought that the standalone Episode 3 box had the components to play Episodes 1 and/or 2 as well, which is not the case. Episode 3 instead focuses on aliens who’ve boarded the ship and have thrown you into the ship’s brig - you have to do your best to escape and regain control of the ship using various tools and skills you pick up. I think I will give this a try in the near future to see how it compares to Episode 1. (Also, the game itself has been picked up by AEG I believe, and should be seeing a retail release as opposed to having to order it directly from thegamecrafter.net)